Wonderful Town

Aditya Assarat

An architect from Bangkok spends some time in a forgotten coastal town in southern Thailand for a building commission. A doomed place that has not recovered from the tsunami three years ago. When something beautiful blossoms between the architect and the owner of his hotel, they are not to find happiness.

The sea looks deceptively calm in Takua Pa, a coastal area in the south of Thailand. The tsunami hit Takua Pa three years ago, but ever since it has remained out of season. The impressively photographed desolate village (camera: Umpornpol Yugala) is obviously one of the protagonists of the film.
The second protagonist arrives in the form of a young architect from Bangkok: Ton (Supphasit Kansen), the only one from his firm willing to shut himself up in the back of beyond for months to watch over a reconstruction project. He moves into a simple and almost deserted hotel. And very slowly, very hesitantly, he falls for the quiet, sensitive and intelligent owner of the hotel. She is Na (Anchalee Saisoontorn) and the third protagonist. That's all the film needed. In the refined treatment of these sad surroundings, something beautiful and fragile emerges.
Slowly, violence and drama also emerge in the film. For instance, Na's brother Wit (Dul Yaambunying) is too damaged to be able to accept that his sister may one day again be able to taste happiness. Something wakes up in the traumatised place, but all these powers are not particularly 'wonderful'. That these powers would be awoken could be heard in the beautiful music of Zai Kuning/Koichi Shimizu. Sweet is not their idiom. The film tells its moving story with a restrained self-assurance. Sparse dialogues and plenty of powerful images. (GjZ)

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